Mar 18, 2016
This is a column about cheap food, and it doesn't come much cheaper than Osaka's Super Tamade supermarket chain. When I first arrived in the city I lived almost exclusively on precooked nikku jagga, a shrink-wrapped beef, carrot and potato bowl retailing at around ¥100. Haute cuisine it isn't, but it keeps you alive.
Feb 19, 2016
In Japan — especially in Japan — food and drink have always been about more than merely nutrition or a mere succession of tastes. They have also been a pretext for bringing people together in social rituals that don't have to be ancient, formal or solemn: rituals focused on food and drink can also be fresh, inventive and humorous.
Jan 22, 2016
Dec 22, 2015
Cycling through one of the poorer quarters of Osaka, I start feeling peckish. So I park my bike in one of the rundown shopping arcades that crisscross this working-class city and duck, almost at random, into a cheap eatery. The ancient proprietress waves me to the counter and, without even asking, serves me something delicious, porky and garlicky. She spreads something out on a black plate polka-dotted with curlicues of spring onion and surmounted by a raw egg. It is (insert flavor) and (insert texture) and (insert local cultural history) ... etc., etc.